Local Motors Launches $150K LITECAR Challenge

 |  |  January 10, 2015

by Kenny Hoeschen

Local Motors is a custom automaker that builds not only the outlandish Rally Fighter but also famously printed a car on a 3D printer. Following on the heels of their contest to design a lightweight sports car, the company just launched a new contest in concert with the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) to design the LITECAR. “LITECAR” stands for Lightweighting Technologies Enabling Comprehensive Automotive Redesign. It’s a mouthful and I’m not comfortable with “lightweighting” as a word.

Regardless, this contest has some real money at stake, with a grand prize of $60,000 (USD), $40,000 for First Runner-up, $20K for Second Runner-up, and another $30K for other categories. That’s $150,000 in total prizes.

ARPA-E and Local Motors are looking for conceptual solutions to enable future lightweight and safe vehicles. And they’re looking for something beyond state-of-the-art, not just incremental changes. So you probably don’t want to suggest making all wheels out of carbon fiber, for example, since that’s been done.

A panel of expert judges will evaluate submissions based on four criteria: curb weight reduction, safety, novelty/innovation, and supporting evidence. Submissions will be accepted up to March 6, 2015, so get to work!

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